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Opinions of Saturday, 16 February 2008

Columnist: Agbodza, Kwami

Ghanaâ's Democratic Vision is Anti-Free Market Reforms

Do Ghanaians really understand what is going on especially when some are thinking that free market is not a person or group of persons? Do Ghanaians really know Ghana is being destroyed by Free Market Institutions like The Research Centre at Boston University which isolate our leaders in residency programmes and using psychological methods developed in Canada by the late Dr. Cameron shock them into accepting free-market reforms that undermine freedom and justice? Do Ghanaians know that it is because free market reforms undermine democracy that they are always presented along with democratisation in Africa? In other words, Do Ghanaians know the twinning of free market reforms and democratisation in Africa is a deliberate psychological tactic developed by the CIA to disorient, in this case, African leaders, to accept free market programs that by all accounts are turning Ghana and the African continent into an economic graveyard of mass impoverishment and gross humiliation? This is bigger than puerile NDC-NPP politics.

We are told that through www.ghanaweb.com that President Kufour who is leaving office in a few months time has been invited to present his vision at a meeting on February 19, 2008 at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. This meeting would also feature other African countries including Benin, Botswana, Cape Verde, Kenya Liberia, Malawi, Mali, South Africa and Zambia.

And by no mere coincidence, we are told that, the American Ambassador Charles R. Stith, Director of African Presidential Archives and Research Centre at Boston University (APARC) and former US Ambassador to Tanzania would travel to eight African nations in conjunction with the official release of the African Leaders State of Africa report 2007. Does the reader now get the picture?

The real cat is let out of the bag when we are told that The Research Centre at Boston University is a resource for fostering efforts at free-market reforms and democratisation in Africa. Is it clear now what the real game is?

Not only that, we are also told that The Research Centre at Boston University is a repository for the papers of former and current African leaders. It offers a residency programme for former democratically elected heads of state and would host an annual African Presidential Roundtable in April.

After they have being disoriented they produce what is called The African Leaders State Report, which is one of APARC's core projects and provides selected African leaders a forum to address the world about the goals, programmes and policies of their respective countries. But these must all be free market goals etc you see!

Setting aside whether Kufour has a vision or not, let us make it clear that Ghana already has a vision. Let us repeat it again that Ghana already has a vision. It is not a free market vision. It is therefore wrong for any University wherever they are to foster market reforms on Ghana when clearly these reforms contradicts our laws.

If The Research Centre at Boston University wants to know Ghana’s vision, all they have to do is read our 1992 4th Republican Constitution. President Kufour or Central Bank Paul Acquah or anybody has no constitutional right to foster any other vision on Ghana apart from what is stated in our constitution.

The vision of Ghana, which should also be the vision of our President, is the creation of a just and free socitety; and can be found in Chapter Six - The Directive Principles of State Policy: 34. (1) The Directive Principles of State Policy contained in this Chapter shall guide all citizens, Parliament, the President, the Judiciary, the Council of State, the Cabinet, political parties and other bodies and persons in applying or interpreting this Constitution or any other law and in taking and implementing any policy decisions, for the establishment of a just and free society. 35. (1) Ghana shall be a democratic state dedicated to the realization of freedom and justice; and accordingly, sovereignty resides in the people of Ghana from whom Government derives all its powers and authority through this Constitution.

So all the President has to do according to our constitution is also already there: 34 (2) The President shall report to Parliament at least once a year all the steps taken to ensure the realization of the policy objectives contained in this Chapter and, in particular, the realization of basic human rights, a healthy economy, the right to work, the right to good health care and the right to education.

The constitutional requirements of basic human rights, a healthy economy, the right to work, the right to good health care and the right to education are all denied by free market reforms. And this is why it is a fraud to talk of democratisation of Africa when the national democratic vision will be undermined by the economic ideology being promoted.

The roles of the state in Ghana are also clearly spelt out. The constitution makes it clear in all the relevant clauses that Ghana shall have an INTERVENTIONIST STATE; not a State that folds its arms and goes to sleep. What should the Interventionist State do as far as the Ghanaian economy is concerned? This is not some communist document imported into Ghana under cover of darkness. This is the law on how our economy should be managed.

So to be very clear, let us remind ourselves: 36. (1) The State shall take all necessary action to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximize the rate of economic development and to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and to provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy. (2) The State shall, in particular, take all necessary steps to establish a sound and healthy economy whose underlying principles shall include - (a) the guarantee of a fair and realistic remuneration for production and productivity in order to encourage continued production and higher productivity; (b) affording ample opportunity for individual initiative and creativity in economic activities and fostering an enabling environment for a pronounced role of the private sector in the economy; (c) ensuring that individuals and the private sector bear their fair share of social and national responsibilities including responsibilities to contribute to the overall development of the country; (d) undertaking even and balanced development of all regions and every part of each region of Ghana, and, in particular, improving the conditions of life in the rural areas, and generally, redressing any imbalance in development between the rural and the urban areas; (e) the recognition that the most secure democracy is the one that assures the basic necessities of life for its people as a fundamental duty.

(3) The State shall take appropriate measures to promote the development of agriculture and industry. (6) The State shall afford equality of economic opportunity to all citizens; and, in particular, the State shall take all necessary steps so as to ensure the full integration of women into the mainstream of the economic development of Ghana. 9) The State shall take appropriate measures needed to protect and safeguard the national environment for posterity; and shall seek co-operation with other states and bodies for purposes of protecting the wider international environment for mankind. (10) The State shall safeguard the health, safety and welfare of all persons in employment, and shall establish the basis for the full deployment of the creative potential of all Ghanaians. (11) The State shall encourage the participation of workers in the decision-making process at the work place. Article 35 (8) The State shall take steps to eradicate corrupt practices and the abuse of power.

Readers are encouraged to read Ghana’s constitution which is readily available on www.ghanaweb.com. But let us read on.

37. (3) In the discharge of the obligations stated in clause (2) of this article, the State shall be guided by international human rights instruments which recognize and apply particular categories of basic human rights to development processes. 38. (1) The State shall provide educational facilities at all levels and in all the Regions of Ghana, and shall, to the greatest extent feasible, make those facilities available to all citizens. 40. In its dealings with other nations, the Government shall (a) promote and protect the interests of Ghana; (b) seek the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order; (c) promote respect for international law, treaty obligations and the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means; (d) adhere to the principles enshrined in or as the case may be, the aims and ideals of- i) the Charter of the United Nations; ii) the Charter of the Organisation of African Unity; iii) the Commonwealth; iv) the Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States; and v) any other international organisation of which Ghana is a member.

So it is clear that the activities of the CIA, USAID in Ghana, the American Ambassador Charles R. Stith and The Research Centre at Boston University, the Cato Institute amongst others are undermining constitutional democracy in Ghana and Africa. They are polluting common human decency. They are promoting constitutional lawlessness. And it is wrong.

Far from fostering democracy in Africa then Free Market reforms are actually not in line with The 1992 Constitution of Ghana. And nobody whoever they are even if they claim God spoke to them, as Bush claimed when he invaded Iraq, has a right to tell our Leaders to dream up free market reforms that are clearly anti-democratic.



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